Apple Avoids Half-Billion Judgment on Patent Infringement... For Now
While Apple is no stranger to patent litigation, the prospect of a looming judgment is ample enough to make even Steve Jobs get a lump in his throat. According to multiple published reports, Apple is looking at a whopping $625.5 million judgment against Mirror Worlds regarding "alleged patent infringement" related to Spotlight, Time Machine and Cover Flow.
If Apple had proven unsuccessful this week in an emergency motion to turn the legal tide, the Cupertino tech giant would have had to cough up better than one-half billion dollars to Mirror Worlds, which - according to Bloomberg - brought Apple to court two years ago but only won the case last week. To be clear, Apple may still ultimately have to pay the piper. But for now, Apple has bought itself some time.
This week, U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Davis said Apple and Mirror Worlds have "until the end of November to submit additional post-trial arguments." According to Judge Davis, "All post-verdict relief shall be sought in these motions. "The Court will not consider any additional motions or briefing after entering the final judgment."
In case you're wondering, yes, that is a huge verdict - even by modern standards. In fact, the $625.5 million award is the second-biggest jury verdict of the year, and the fourth-biggest in US history.
Of course, with $45.8 billion in cash on hand, Apple won't go broke by any stretch of the imagination, even if the penalty is eventually paid in full. But it's going to be a tough check to write, regardless. And we'll know soon enough if Steve Jobs will need a pen to write that check.